Anthrax hits Arua district again

Anthrax hits Arua district again
A seven year old boy from Palaok village in Pawor Su County Arua district nursing swollen eye and face after being diagonized with Anthrax. Courtesy Photo

One person is admitted at Pawor health center III in Palabok Parish, Pawor Sub County in Arua district after being diagnosed with Anthrax.

The disease has also reportedly claimed 18 animals in the same area. Dr. Willy Nguma, the Arua District Veterinary Officer, says the disease has engulfed the entire Nile belt from Pakwach district.

Dr. Willy Nguma says the outbreak has also been reported in Rhino Camp, Rigbo, Uriama and Odupi sub counties. He attributes the spread of the disease to the sporadic rain patterns the district has been receiving.

Dr. Nguma says they requests to the Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries Ministries to provide vaccines to contain the disease haven’t yielded results. The anthrax outbreak in Arua district was first reported in November 2016 but the cases were confirmed in March 2017.

Dr. Nguma has cautioned residents to desist from eating meat of dead animals, saying its main source of spreading the disease in humans.

Dr. Patrick Anguzu, the Arua District Health Officer, says despite the availability of drugs to treat Anthrax in Humans, breaking the chain of transmission from animals to humans requires more support from government.

He says the district health and veterinary departments have instituted a single approach to tackling the disease but their major hindrance are resources to achieving their desired goal of breaking the chain of transmission.

Statistics from Arua District Veterinary Department show that 1087 animals have succumbed to the disease since 2016 248 people were recorded with swellings on their lymph resulting from the disease.

Health experts say the Anthrax virus can hibernate under the soil for up to 50 years and when animals eat the grass, they contract the disease from under the ground.

According to medicinenet.com, anthrax is a life-threatening infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis that normally affects animals, especially ruminants (such as goats, cattle, sheep, and horses).

Anthrax can be transmitted to humans by contact with infected animals or their products.

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